Nahskwell Surf Pro 9'2
This is one of the first short board inspired shapes I've tried. That’s not to say I've not paddled shorter SUP's, but normally they have been round nosed. If you're not sure what the difference is, I've found that with round nosed boards when paddling for fatter waves you can shift your weight quite a long way down the nose of the board and then trim back as you pick up the wave. With these more short board surfing inspired shapes this is not so easy to do, as the volume is basically solely under your foot area. Given that I came into SUP via a longboard route, this was an odd concept for me, and it took me a while to realize I need to try less for the fuller waves and try to get under the peak on boards like this.
However, if earlier wave catching is the trade off, what’s the advantage? Well I quite simply found the ability to turn this board and really harness the power of the whole wave incredible. Current top pro riders are getting as low as 7 foot or thereabouts with ths style of board and its all about a progression towards shortboard style SUP wave riding. If you are looking to surf that way, then this is a great introductory board for someone of average weight with good balance. The volume of 127 litres I found just about enough for me for catching waves, although it got a struggle in strong offshore conditions or smaller or fatter waves. I also found that paddle bracing with this board if it was choppy was a definite advantage, and would suggest that this kind of board wouldn't be suitable for you if you weren't familiar with that technique!
That said, compared to some of the smaller round nosed boards, with decent paddle technique or if you're prepared to prone paddle or kneel paddle this, its incredibly easy to get out even through big beach breaks as the rockered nose really skims over the top of white water and steep unbroken waves.
The Nahskwell I had on loan was a lovely looking board with a nice exposed wood veneer, I was also surprised at its lightness and lovely finished. I would certainly have no hesitation to recommend this board to anyone look to get into modern style performance SUP, but reluctant to shed lots of volume. The price tag on these boards also makes them seriously worth a look!